eMail Marketing Compliance

Email Marketing Guidelines

  • February 5, 2013

Email Marketing Guidelines

Do you use email blasts in your business?  I have been emailing potential clients for years but have been abiding by the Can-Spam guidelines.

The CAN-SPAM Act, a law that sets the rules for commercial email, establishes requirements for commercial messages, gives recipients the right to have you stop emailing them, and spells out penalties for violations.

Despite its name, the CAN-SPAM Act doesn’t apply just to bulk email.  It covers all commercial marketing messages, which the law defines as “any electronic mail message the primary purpose of which is the commercial advertisement or promotion of a commercial product or service,” including email that promotes content on commercial websites.

The law makes no exception for business-to-business email.  That means all email, even a message to former customers announcing a new product line – must comply with the law.

Each separate email in violation of the CAN-SPAM Act is subject to penalties of up to $16,000, so non-compliance can be costly.   But following the law is not complicated.   Here’s a rundown of CAN-SPAM’s main requirements:

  1. Don’t use false or misleading header information.
  2. Don’t use deceptive subject lines.
  3. Identify the message as an ad.
  4. Tell recipients where you’re located.
  5. Tell recipients how to opt out of receiving future email from you.
  6. Honor opt-out requests promptly.
  7. Monitor what others are doing on your behalf.

I know this sounds like an ad for Constant Contact, and I do use them because of their compliance, but regardless of what service you use, be sure to abide by the above or expect a visit from the suits!